Srila Prabhupada Ashraya Ceremony was held at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir, Vrindavan on Sunday, August 16, 2015.
The temple holds this function periodically for devotees who wish to formalize their commitment towards following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.
On this occasion, 36 devotees took Ashraya (shelter) of Srila Prabhupada. Ashraya entails committing to follow certain devotional principles like chanting a fixed number of rounds daily, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, performing worship of Lord Krishna at home among others. Devotees can accept one of five levels of ashraya depending on the extent to which they are able follow the principles prescribed by Srila Prabhupada. The systems is designed so that devotees may gradually accept higher levels of ashraya by adhering more closely to the prescriptions of devotional service that have been laid down by Srila Prabhupada for a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga. The system is made for helping devotees take measured steps in spiritual advancement under the careful supervision of senior temple devotees. It also helps the temple assist devotees in methodically developing their spiritual qualities.
The programme was conducted in the morning at around 11 am at the Lecture Hall in the temple. Temple President, Chanchalapati Dasa, Temple Senior Vice President His Grace Suvyakta Narasimha Das and Vice President Yudhishthira Dasa briefly interviewed all the Ashraya candidates. Devotees accepting Ashraya sat in rows according to the level they had accepted.
His Grace Chanchalapati Dasa, gave a short talk on talk on the significance of Ashraya and then administered the Ashraya oaths to the participants. Guru Puja for Srila Prabhupada accompanied by Sankirtana followed this. The programme concluded with a sumptuous Prasadam feast served to all the participants.